Open cooking, although of minor importance in the global inventory of POPs releases, is one of the most impacting health risks in developing countries.© Sunil Lal
New data on persistent organic pollutants
Measurements of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) were carried out by the JRC's Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) within the framework of the environmental assessment of European waste and sustainable use of resources. Emission factors were provided for POPs' from three specific activities in developing countries, where no data had previously been available: brick production, open cooking with biomass and the use of simple stoves. A study on the impact of brick production on nearby soil quality was also included. Final reporting will be made through EU reports, which will be published on the webpage of the Stockholm Convention Secretariat.
Preliminary results from three field studies coordinated by the IES, and executed in cooperation with partners in Kenya, South Africa and Mexico, will allow introducing new emission factors for Dioxins and two additional compounds, i.e. hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), into the ”Dioxin Toolkit”. This toolkit is a calculation scheme that provides the emission factors that are needed for the compilation of national inventories of unintentional releases of POPs into the environment from all relevant production sectors including domestic sources. Parties to the Stockholm Convention are obliged to report their inventories regularly to the Secretariat (and to the Commission as far it concerns the EU) as a part of their national implementation plans of the Stockholm Convention.
The emission inventories allow officials responsible for air quality to generally increase their understanding and their use of risk-based approaches for management of POPs and other chemicals. Most importantly, it also enables them to prioritise POPs interventions in order to reduce local health impacts.
The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically and accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife.